Laurie, Emily and John MorseLaurie, Emily and John Morse

Emily Morse was named as the recipient of the 2017 Lee Strebel Memorial Award for Enthusiasm in the Performing Arts. Emily accepted the award at the Ithaca High School (I.H.S.) Underclassmen Awards Night, June 6, 2017 in I.H.S. Performing Arts Center's Kulp Auditorium. The Lee Strebel Memorial Award is presented each year to an I.H.S. student who has not only participated in performing arts at the high school level, but has shown extraordinary spirit in that pursuit.

The award is given in memory of Lee Strebel, an I.H.S. student who died suddenly during his freshman year in February 2006. In his short time at the high school, Lee became a standout in the drama department after playing the leading role of George Gibbs in Our Town.

"Lee was a promising young actor to be sure, but what made him so well-loved was his constant smile, great work ethic, support for his peers and an unshakeable positive mental attitude. It is hoped that the recipient of this award will continue to demonstrate many of the same attributes, and recognize that although skills may be handed out in various amounts, our attitude and effort are completely under our control," notes the Strebel family.

Ithaca High School Drama teacher Lorraine Tino praised Morse's work ethic, "Emily approaches challenges with a positive attitude and a smile. She has taken a leadership role and become one of our most reliable technical theatre students."

The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), an affiliate of IPEI, works with the high school drama staff and the Strebel family to present this award. The award is made possible due to a grant from the Community Foundation of Tompkins County's Strebel Fund for Community Enrichment. The Strebel Fund also supports the I.H.S. musical production.